Live 929 Student Apartments at Ashland & N. Wolfe

Live 929 Student Apartments at Ashland & N. WolfeI wasn’t in much of a mood for a bicycle ride, but N. gave me a task to be completed at the new Target, so I followed her instructions and hopped on the bike for a ride to that suburb-in-the-city, Canton Crossing. As soon as I was on my bike I was glad I was there, riding on the slightly foggy streets on a much warmer day, feeling that speed that comes from freshly-pumped up tires. I decided to take an early left, before Mount Royal, to see if I could get myself lost. I found myself zig zagging around Greenmount Cemetery, past new-ish housing developments with their brightly-colored doors that never quite hide the signs of capital’s abandonment, but they look pretty, and then going up and down the streets of northeast Baltimore, past row after row of abandoned row houses and other houses decked out with balloons and signs–two new baby girls and a baby boy came home to East Baltimore this weekend. Continue reading

Waiting for Intimate Bureaucracies at Red Emma’s at St. Paul & Madison

Tonight’s ride took me racing down St. Paul to meet J. at the bookstore to hear C. talk about his newest work. I’d had a long day helping incoming students learn to navigate some of the many levels of bureaucracy at their new institution, so a talk on “Intimate Bureaucracies” was a perfect cap to the day. I snapped this picture as I waited, not sure what to expect. Continue reading

State Troopers Parked Inside the Fence at the Proposed Youth Jail Site on Madison

Today’s ride took me down the hill for a quick stop at the proposed site of the new youth jail to see if there was any Schools Not Jails action afoot. I had planned to ride around for awhile longer, but the wind! Once I took my left on Center and felt the bike getting pushed out from under me, I decided to punk out and make it a short ride. Continue reading

Presentation at Red Emma’s Bookstore and Cafe in Mt. Vernon

 I spent the day at work and stopped into the gym to get some exercise in out of the rain. Surprise, surprise, though, the sun came out this afternoon! Well, maybe not the sun, but the rain was gone, so I took the bike and flew down the hill to see Dulcey Lewis’s presentation of her senior thesis research on the Lesbian Avengers at the anarchist collective coffee shop and bookstore.
The place was packed and I enjoyed listening to the Avengers being talked about like an ancient cult–I guess the early 90s are a historical netherworld in some circles. We have got to remember our histories, and I’m glad folks are on the case. I stayed after to mix and mingle, went for a beer and a snack with V., and then rode back up the hill in the cool breeze of September in Baltimore, a lovely Friday night in the bag.

Bike Rack at St. Paul & Madison

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So I’m one of those people who gets the credit card because of the points promotions and orders the Groupon for the furniture store in Baltimore when she knows she’ll be moving there in six months. That meant a ride to Belvedere Square today to spend that $200. I don’t know my way around, not at all, so I ended up on a busy street that I knew would take me generally in the right direction. Gears, people, I need more gears, and I need my bike seat back–the chafing!–but I happily made it in under thirty minutes. Short trips are best made by bike, no matter where you are. I am so going to be able to bike this town, and that feels so good. Oh, and the uphill on the way there meant flying downhill on the way home. After a stop at K. and N.’s for a futile wait on the new landlord, I was back on the bike for a trip to Red Emma’s and their veggie banh mi. I locked up my rental bike to this cool bike rack in the shape giant chain links. The problem with the artistic bike rack, though, is it often isn’t entirely functional, and this one suffers from that as well. U-lock and cable kept my bike safe, though, until my ride home. Pedal, pedal, pedal up Eager Street, and then I caught a pothole. Time slowed, long enough for me to think about how I almost fell, and then to feel myself falling, wondering why I couldn’t stop it. And my first crash in Baltimore is under my belt. I scrambled out of the street, let that driver who kindly asked know that I was ok, and got back on the bike to get home and scrub, scrub, scrub. I’ve got impressive bumps on elbows and knees, but the good part of falling on a bike is remembering that those small falls will happen, and they just aren’t that big of a deal–just get back on the bike, you’re ok. And you’ve got to learn your potholes. And now, more ibuprofen.